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Editor's Note

James R. Adair

Families come in many sizes and configurations. Households headed by two parents (opposite-sex or same-sex), single-parent households, nuclear families, extended families—these are just a few of many types of families that surround us. I’m always amused by those who proclaim that one particular type of family configuration is “correct” or “best” or “divinely ordained.” As a scholar of religion myself, I sometimes wonder which holy books these people have been reading. The Bible is filled with examples of polygamy, divorces, arranged marriages, marriages for love, exploitative marriages, households with adopted children, and more. Other religious traditions similarly portray a variety of family configurations, often including animals, family members who have already departed from the present life, and even examples of families with both human and divine members. Many of these different family models—and others—flourish in today’s world. From a modern perspective, the thing that all happy families have in common (to expand on Tolstoy) is that they are held together by bonds of love, respect, and compassion.

This issue of Voices de la Luna features many prose, poetry, and visual art pieces that focus on the notion of family, its accomplishments, struggles, joys, and sorrows. We start with our cover art, a quilt by Rebecca Lilly Segura entitled Scene from an Ordinary Life. Sticking with the visual arts, Voices is pleased to introduce a new feature called Artist Spotlight, which focuses on an up-and-coming local artist. Our inaugural Spotlight artist is Edith Ann Cantu, an artist whose favored medium is chalk pastels, in part because of their vibrant color.

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi, a native of Syria, came to the U.S. as a young man to study engineering, and he spent his career in his chosen field. Along the way, however, he discovered a love of poetry and the written word. Author of several books of poetry, al-Jundi is our featured poet for the February issue. His poems often deal with family interrelationships, with science, and with politics. The ongoing civil war in his homeland influences many of his poems.

Carol Coffee Reposa, the current Texas Poet Laureate, interviews writer, critic, and educator Wallis Sanborn. A respected literary critic, Sanborn has focused much of his academic career on the work of Cormac McCarthy, but he is an accomplished author and poet in his own right.

The pages of this issue bulge with the contributions of other authors and poets, some well-known—Norma E. Cantú, Vince Gotera, Robert Flynn, and Jim Daniels, among others—and some just beginning their writing careers, including students from local universities.

One of my favorite movie quotes concerns the vital importance of family to personal wellbeing, spoken by Stitch, a space alien who has discovered love in an unusual place, a mosquito-infested planet called earth. “This is my family. I found it all on my own. It is little, and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.” Ohana, my friends!

 


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Themes for future issues
May 2018: San Antonio's Tricentennial
Aug 2018: Public Art

Current Voices

 

New Year

Lahab Assef Al-Jundi

I resolve to live the rest of this life on the moon. To make my home in one of its small craters where I can watch Earth rise and set in sheer blue-emerald splendor. Where I can clearly see that those climbing Everest aren’t climbing much of anything and those going faster than the speed of sound aren’t going anywhere at all. And when lovers gaze in my direction luminous beams will arc across the heavens— Spirits wheeling higher and higher till the whole universe rests at our feet.

 

Little Blessings

Edith Ann Cantu

 

The Killing Path

Norma E. Cantú

They travel the path cautiously, careful and watchful, watching out for la migra, those who will catch and send without remorse. They travel the path hopefully, hopeful and faithful, trusting that at the other end food, drink, clean clothes await, the end where all will be well. They travel the path faithfully along a treacherous and onerous road. They may regret the choice but see no option except death, slow and sure. they travel the path they travel the path they travel we travel the path we travel the path we travel

 

how many walls does it take to build a nation?

d. ellis phelps

 

Guns and Hard Candy

Robert Flynn

My sister, brother, and I made our Santa Claus lists from catalogs—Sears Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, Bella Hess. We were a farm family in north West Texas and when Santa didn’t deliver our mail order presents in time for Christmas, our parents told us that Santa sometimes dropped by on New Year’s Eve on his way back to the North Pole and maybe he would leave our Christmas wish then. And he did. But it was another whole week after we had been waiting months for Christmas.

Stores in our town didn’t have Santas, but sometimes he was driven down Main Street standing in the back of a pickup and the elves at his feet threw unwrapped hard candy. I never really looked at Santa. I went for the hard stuff.

Santa did come to our two-room school house once. Our two teachers passed out bags of hard candy and Santa, who looked a lot like Dude Byars in women’s makeup with a mess of cotton covering the rest of his face, said, “Ho ho ho,” as though those were the only words Santa knew. The spectacle scared us so that Santa was never invited back….

 

Del and DaisyMae

Rebecca Lilly Segura

 

 


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